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YOUTH CENTER MOVE DUE IN EARLY 2005

The Town Youth Center is expected to move into Summit Park Mall in 2005.

Supervisor Timothy E. Demler told the Town Board during a budget session with department heads earlier this week that the center, which has been at 2567 Niagara Falls Blvd. since 2002, would be moving to more spacious and elaborate digs at the mall sometime early in the year.

"We're looking to phase out the center at its present location and move to a bigger facility with a gymnasium at a minimal cost," Demler said during budget discussions with the Recreation Department.

He said the town would have to pay only for utilities for the new location. The move could save the town up to $20,000 in the first year, according to the discussion. However, Demler said he wanted the 2005 budget to reflect only $15,000 in savings. The board approved the adjustment in the recreation spending when it passed the preliminary budget at the end of the meeting.

The town has been leasing about 20,000 square feet for the center in the Boulder Commons strip plaza at a cost of $2 per square foot since the second year of its contract agreement.

Demler said there is no buyout or penalty on the lease as long as the owner gets a notice of 90 days. He said the owner would be allowed to keep whatever improvements the town made. Significant remodeling and renovations were completed before the center opened.

On the boulevard, the center has been a focal point of activity for area teens and children, offering a computer room, movie lounge, ping pong tables and numerous other forms of entertainment for use during evening and weekend hours.

Demler promised the location at the mall would offer more. Mall owner Jim Anthony has been after the town to move the facility to the fledging Williams Road site for a while, Demler noted. New mall manager Larry Rose also has been part of the negotiations, Demler said.

"We're looking at putting in a gym floor (for basketball)," he said. "It will definitely be a bigger center. We'll have space for many more activities and a study center. We'll have better parking too."

The budget is scheduled for a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4.

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